- Get quality sleep
Everyone has an opinion on how many hours they need to sleep. A high percentage of our opinions are rationalizations about how much we need to get by. But I’m not talking about getting by, but feeling energetic. Yes, there are studies that pop up saying we only need 4-6 good hours, but the majority of sleep studies conclude that adults need between 7-9 hours a night of quality sleep. Thus, you should consider structuring your day so that you will be able to wind down prior to bedtime and have the quality sleep your body needs and deserves. Even if you lay there for a while at first, you will begin to fall asleep earlier if you regularly place yourself in bed (without stimulation if possible-meaning TV)
- Surround yourself with encouraging people
Most of us tend to be very hard on ourselves. We are our toughest critics. The negativity only gets stronger if we spend time with people that are critical toward us. It erodes our self esteem and is unhealthy. Seek out people who are with you because they value you for who you are. Those people can truly make you feel as though you can accomplish anything.
- Exercise regularly
Exercise raises serotonin levels (the “happy” hormones). Exercise also gives you confidence when you overcome physical challenges. And with any accomplishment you will believe that much more in your worth and your ability to achieve more.
- Eat a clean, healthy diet
By eating a clean, healthy diet you send yourself the message that you value yourself enough to feed your body only the best. Avoid processed foods. Focus on a balance of fresh foods, mostly organic if possible, including wide varieties of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats (avocados, raw nuts, seeds, etc.), lean proteins and selected whole grains. Try to severely cut salt and sugar intake. A healthy diet keeps your hormones in balance, and makes for a healthier, happier, more confident YOU!
Eggs are a source of protein and can be a source of iron. But eggs can also cause iron depletion because they contain phosvitin, a protein compound that binds iron molecules together and prevents the body from absorbing iron from foods.
Eggs contain nonheme iron, which is less efficiently absorbed than heme iron, or the type found in meat, poultry, fish and seafood.
But if you eat eggs with Vitamin C or acidic foods ( lemon, lime, red pepper, tomato, grapefruit, orange, vinegar, balsamic ) your body is able to absorb the iron in them and in other foods. This also works with be beans or legumes which are nonheme iron sources.
Iron supplies oxygen to all our organs and tissues with the help of the protein hemoglobin. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, decreased mental functioning. So always eat your eggs with acidic foods.
It is easy to become obsessed with calorie counting when wanting to lose weight, for one must cut calories to do so. And before I go on with specifics about the calories you generally need to cut, remember to relax and be aware of your caloric intake. The neurosis is eliminated when the end goal is creating awareness. With that in mind here are the basics.
The rule of thumb for years has been that he 3500 calories make up a pound a pound of fat, thus, you had to cut 500 calories a day from your maintenance metabolic rate to lose one pound in a week. However, this 3500 calories figure assumed all the weight lost would be adipose (fat) tissue. Unfortunately, lean body mass is also lost along with body fat.
Recent research in the International Journal of Obesity found the amount of lean body mass lost is based on initial body fat level and size of the calorie deficit.
Thus, the leaner you are the more lean mass you lose and fat you retain. While the heavier you are the more body fat you lose while retaining more lean tissue.
Therefore, I recommend using one of the percentage methods below which bases your caloric deficit on your starting body fat level rather than relying on the 500-1000 calorie per day deficit (below maintenance) as your guide:
15-20% below maintenance calories = conservative deficit
20-25% below maintenance calories = moderate deficit
25-30% below maintenance calories = aggressive deficit
The more body fat you have to lose the more aggressive you could be without as much worry about muscle loss and metabolic slowdown. If you are lean and want to get leaner to look “cut,” you’re better of staying conservative to retain muscle.
Remember, relax and be aware of your calories. Yes, keep track, you may have to adjust the numbers depending upon results (you will definitely need to adjust the calories cut down as you continue to lose) but be kind to yourself if your awareness and math don’t match.
If you watch focused professional athletes you will inevitably see them either transfixed or looking up as if remembering something or closing their eyes just before any important movement begins. They are watching themselves perfectly perform what they are about to engage in. This mental rehearsal or visualization causes a scientifically proven transfer from the mental to the physical.
So do what the pros do, picture your workouts. See the positions your body will be in. Even better, also feel how efficiently you will be breathing, feel the strength in your legs, in your core, in your upper body. See and feel the balance of your torso and the postures necessary to successfully perform. You’ll be amazed at the results if you do this habitually.